Allison King v. Baylor University, No.: 21-50352 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The case that was appealed was No. 6:20-CV-504 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Allison King’s case against Baylor University has been given the green light by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Ms. King is seeking a refund of tuition and fees she paid for on-campus instruction and services that were canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although her suit was previously dismissed by the district court, the Fifth Circuit revived the case, stating that the district court made an error in dismissing her contract claim.
Here’s what happened: Ms. King enrolled in classes and paid tuition and fees for on-campus services for the Spring 2020 semester. However, starting from March 11, 2020, Baylor University suspended in-person classes and most on-campus activities due to COVID-19. Despite this, the university did not provide any refunds for the money specifically paid for in-person courses, amenities, and services. Ms. King, on behalf of herself and other students in a similar situation, filed a lawsuit against the university for breach of contract and unjust enrichment. The district court initially dismissed King’s suit, arguing that Baylor did not promise in-person classes or an on-campus educational experience.
However, the appeals court disagreed with the district court’s reasoning. They emphasized that the contract between Ms. King and Baylor should be examined considering the circumstances, context, and communications at the time they entered into the agreement.